By Phill Marder
This is the 47th set of selections in The Goldmine Hall of Fame.
Great Blogs Of Fire will be announcing 5 inductees approximately every three weeks until all 700-plus inductees are announced. Bios of all selections and criteria for induction can be found on our website by clicking the Goldmine Hall of Fame tab. A running list of all announced inductees will be listed, also. These also can be found under “Great Blogs Of Fire” at the bottom of the page or by following this link – http://www.goldminemag.com/blogs/goldmine-hall-of-fame-inductees
461. STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN (with Double Trouble)
This Texas guitar slinger did something few practicioners of the Blues have been able to accomplish. He stayed true to his roots, gained the expected critical acceptance…and still sold a lot of records. Though he died in a 1990 helicopter crash at just 35, he still ranks in the top 60% of all album sellers worldwide.
With his trusty sidekicks, drummer Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon on bass and Reese Wynans on keyboards – collectively known as Double Trouble – Stevie Ray Vaughan issued a series of studio and live albums that reached the upper levels of the Billboard Top 200 albums list and became best sellers in various European, Scandinavian and Asian nations. The group’s success was so effective in spreading Vaughan’s reputation that his final album, done with his brother Jimmie and a host of others as The Vaughan Brothers, became his highest-charting effort in the U.S., soaring to #7.
As would be expected with a Blues artist, Vaughan was pretty much ignored on the Billboard Hot 100. But he proved a regular resident of the Mainstream Rock chart starting with his 1983 single, “Pride and Joy” and its flip side “Rude Mood,” which rose to #20. Both were written by Vaughan, the former becoming one of his best-loved efforts, while the latter received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. Two 1985 releases from the LP “Soul To Soul” bettered that singles’ finish, reaching #17, and the next year a live issue of “Willie The Wimp” backed with Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” just missed the Mainstream Rock top 10.
His last LP with Double Trouble, 1989’s “In Step,” won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album and gave Vaughan his only #1 on the Mainstream chart, “Crossfire,” and a second hit, “Tightrope,” which peaked at #14. The posthumous album, “The Sky Is Crying,” which consisted of 10 previously unreleased tracks, yielded a version of the Elmore James classic, “The Sky Is Crying” backed with the Jazz favorite, Kenny Burrell’s “Chitlins con Carne,” that reached #2. Its successor, a Vaughan original entitled “Empty Arms” backed with a version of Lonnie Mack’s “Wham,” did almost the same, hitting #3.
“In Step” was just one of the six Grammy Awards won by Vaughan. The others were: “Blues Explosion” (Best Traditional Blues Performance in 1985); “Family Style” (Best Contemporary Blues Performance in 1991); “D/FW” (Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1991); “The Sky Is Crying” (Best Contemporary Blues Album in 1993); and “Little Wing” (Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1993).
This trio from Queens, New York, opened up more new territory than Lewis & Clark. Like the starship Enterprise, Run-D.M.C. boldly went where no man (or woman) had gone before. As a result, hip hop was brought to the masses.
The three, Joseph “Run” Simmons, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, better known as Run-D.M.C., were the first rappers to have a gold album, a platinum album and a multi-platinum album, the first to get a Grammy nomination and the first to have videos on MTV, which later named them “Greatest Hip Hop Group Of All Time,” an award reinforced by VH1. And, Run-D.M.C. was the only rap group to perform at Live Aid.
The trio’s initial album, “Run-D.M.C.,” earned the gold record. Released in 1984, the disc announced a “new” hip hop style, the members trading lines over a sparse background. Three singles pulled from the disc reached the Rhythm & Blues top 20, led by the first, “It’s Like That,” released in 1983. Fifteen years later, a remix by Jason Nevins still failed to impact the mainstream U.S. charts, but in the U.K. the single held the top spot six weeks. It also hit #1 or #2 in many other countries. “King Of Rock” followed the next year, this release earning platinum status. It also sent three singles into the R&B top 20.
“Raising Hell” gave the group its highest charting R&B hit when “My Adidas,” the first single from the LP, soared to R&B #5. The next release fell short of that mark, stopping at R&B #8. But there was no stopping “Walk This Way” in the mainstream, the single becoming Run-D.M.C.’s blockbuster, soaring to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Pairing the trio and the former top 10 hit by Aerosmith gave Run-D.M.C. its biggest hit and revitalized the career of Aerosmith, which then proceeded to come back stronger than ever. The LP went triple platinum, eventually charting at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart. Two years later, “Tougher Than Leather” rose to #9 and in 1993 the group scored again with the #7 LP “Down With The King.”
463. ANDY GIBB
There have been numerous cases of younger siblings having to follow their superstar elders. None had a tougher act to follow than the youngest of the Gibb brothers, better known as the Bee Gees. But Andy Gibb gave it quite a shot.
Barry, Robin and Maurice already were superstars by the time Andy Gibb was ready to begin his recording career. In fact, Andy’s first album, “Flowing Rivers,” was released in 1977, the same year as his brothers’ tour de force “Saturday Night Fever.” So began a period of chart domination by one family unequaled in music annals. Brother Barry wrote “I Just Want To Be With Everything” and “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water,” Andy receiving co-writer credit on the latter, and both topped the Billboard Hot 100, Andy eventually competing with his brothers for chart dominance. “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” topped the U.S. chart for three weeks in 1977. It also topped lists in Canada and Australia.
“(Love Is) Thicker Than Water” was the centerpiece of a remarkable run in 1978, a stretch that saw Barry become the only person to write four straight #1 hits. Andy’s hit ended the four-week stay at #1 for the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive,” his second #1 residing in the top position for two weeks before “Night Fever” took over for an eight-week run that was ended by Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You.” After a brief, four-week absence, the youngest Gibb returned the family dynasty to the top with his biggest score, “Shadow Dancing,” which topped U.S. charts for seven weeks. A major hit worldwide, “Shadow Dancing,” with writing credit going to all four brothers, finished as Andy’s biggest hit.
Strangely, one spot “Shadow Dancing” didn’t connect was the U.K., but its follow-up, “An Everlasting Love” became his biggest single there, reaching #10, while it climbed to U.S. #5, ending Andy’s streak of consecutive #1s at three. He added two more U.S. top 10 singles, “(Our Love) Don’t Throw It All Away” reaching #9 in 1978 and “Desire” rising to #4 in 1980.
But even the guidance of his brothers could not keep Andy from the pitfalls of fame and a growing dependence on cocaine sidelined the young superstar’s recording career. In 1988, reportedly clean and working on a comeback album, Andy died just five days after his 30th birthday.
464. ATLANTIC STARR
The Goldmine Hall of Fame already has many groups inducted and few have stable lineups throughout their lifetime. Goldmine has taken each of these groups apart, album by album, to see what members were significant contributors to that group’s popular peak or peaks. Members who float in for one or two recordings or original members who are gone long before success strikes or late replacements who join long after that success has waned are pruned away. What remains, hopefully, are the members who made the group Hall of Fame worthy. Not everyone will be happy with the final determination, but it’s a lot better than saying everyone ever connected with the group makes it. Just takes some homework.
In the case of this White Plains, New York, outfit, few podiums would hold all its members at once. Just the female lead singers would take up much of the space. But Atlantic Starr did have a constant nucleus in the three Lewis brothers, David on guitar, Wayne on keyboards and Jonathan on trombone along with percussionist Joseph Phillips, who also contributed on flute. They kept Atlantic Starr on a hall-of fame course in spite of the lineup’s constant fluctuation.
Sharon Bryant held down vocal chores for the group’s first five albums, all of which hit the Billboard Top 200 chart, topped by 1982’s “Brilliance,” which hit #18 and became the group’s only #1 R&B album. That disc contained the hit single, “Circles,” which climbed to R&B #2, passing “When Love Calls,” which peaked at R&B #5 the year before. “Touch A Four Leaf Clover” (R&B #4) and “More, More, More” (R&B #11) came off the 1983 LP “Yours Forever,” the last featuring Bryant, who left for a solo career. Barbara Weathers took over for 1985’s “As The Band Turns” and 1987’s “All In The Name Of Love,” #17 & #18, respectively, on the top 200, and #3 & #4 on the R&B chart. The 1985 release provided “Secret Lovers,” the group’s first top 10 hit on the Hot 100, coming in at #3 U.S. and #1 Canada, while the 1987 effort yielded “Always,” #1 in the U.S. and Canada and a major hit worldwide.
Portia Martin then replaced Weathers and sang lead on the #1 R&B hit, 1989’s “My First Love.” But the revolving door continued, Rachel Oliver replacing Martin for 1991’s “Love Crazy” LP, which contained the #3 single “Masterpiece.”
The inductees are Bryant and Weathers, the three Lewis brothers, Phillips, drummer Porter Carroll, Jr., saxophonist Koran Daniels, bassist Clifford Archer and trumpeter William Sudderth III.
465. HOWARD JONES
Starting at the top leaves nowhere to go but down. That’s what this Welsh vocalist did, and that’s where he went. But on his way down, he compiled an impressive array of hit albums and singles, so many that today he ranks on the worldwide best-selling list in both categories.
The album was 1984’s “Human’s Lib,” which started Howard Jones off in the top spot of the U.K.’s album chart. Powered by four hit singles, “Human’s Lib” also went to #5 in Sweden, #8 in Germany and #59 in the U.S., a respectable finish for a debut. Jones’ debut single, “New Song,” reached U.K. #3 and U.S. #27. The album’s second single, “What Is Love?,” did one better, going to U.K. #2, a position it equaled in France. “Hide and Seek,” single number three, slipped a bit, coming in at U.K. #12, but the fourth and last, “Pearl In the Shell,” returned the singer/songwriter to the U.K. top 10 at #7.
As 1984 ended, “Like To Get To Know You Well” gave Jones another U.K. smash, peaking at #4 and the following year saw Jones break into the American market in a major way when “Things Can Only Get Better” peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #6 on the U.K. chart. It also reached #3 in Sweden, #4 In Norway, #8 in Poland and #9 in France. “Look Mama” followed at U.K. #10 and #6 in Italy. That appeared in the U.S. on an EP entitled “Action Replay,” which also included a new version of “No One Is To Blame,” which became Jones’ biggest hit in the States, rising to #4.
The original version of “No One Is To Blame” appeared on the 1985 LP, “Dream Into Action,” which topped the Swedish charts, stopped at #2 in the U.K. and became Jones’ biggest album stateside at #10. His 1986 album, “One To One,” reached #10 in the U.K. and gave Jones another top 20 single in the U.S., the #17 “You Know I Love You…Don’t You?” In 1989, Jones returned to the hit parade when “Everlasting Love” reached U.S. #12 and soared to #2 in Japan.